An image of Untitled

Kutuwulumi Purawarrumpatu

(Australia circa 1928 – 04 Oct 2003)

Milikapiti, North region, Melville Island, North region
Language group
Tiwi, North region


Not on display
Further information

The imagery in Kitty Kantilla's art, like that of most Tiwi art, is derived from the jilimara or ceremonial body painting and the decoration applied to Pukamani funeral poles and associated ritual objects made for the Pukamani ceremony. Traditionally, the participants in funeral ceremonies decorate themselves with a rich variety of ochre designs so as to conceal their true identity from harm by malevolent mapurtiti (spirits of the dead).
Kitty Kantilla is one of the most senior and important Tiwi artists working at the present time and this print mark the introduction of the etching technique to her list of media which includes painting on canvas, bark and paper as well as wood carving. The decorative motif mulypinyini amintiya pwanga (lines and dots) forms a common basis for many of the abstract designs. In these works, delicate linear fields divide and replicate along the length of the etchings. These parallel the division and replication of discrete fields of lines, dots and solid colour in her paintings. Subtle undertones deriving from the direct manner in which these etchings were produced underlie Kantilla's linework and contribute to the delicacy inherent in this print.

Australian Art Department, AGNSW, 1999

Place of origin
Milikapiti (Snake Bay), Melville Island, Northern Territory, Australia
etching on white Velin Arches paper
19.4 x 88.4 cm image; 21.9 x 98.0 cm sight; 59.7 x 125.3 x 3.8 cm frame
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1999
Accession number
© Kutuwalumi Purawarrumpatu. Licensed by Copyright Agency